I’m cheating a bit putting this meatball recipe in. Instead of being my mother’s recipe it actually comes from my mother-in-law. Sadly she passed away many years ago. I wasn’t lucky enough to be able to enjoy her great cooking at its best, but my husband remembers many of her dishes including how she learnt to make Fried Rice from the chef at their local Chinese restaurant, her light sponges and jars of preserves. Some of my favourite recipes that I have from her are a Beef Stroganoff, a rich Beef Burgundy and this meatball recipe which is another easy family meal.

Homestyle Meatballs3


  • 500g minced steak
  • 1 packet French Onion Soup
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, sliced
  • 425g can chopped or crushed tomatoes
  • 8 new whole potatoes
  • 1 cup water

Combine minced steak and ½ packet of French Onion soup. Form into 8-10 meatballs. Place in casserole dish** together with the onion, celery, tomatoes and potatoes. Combine the remainder of the soup mix with 1 cup of water and pour over meatballs. Bake in a hot oven 200°C for 1 hour. Serve with buttered peas. Serves 4.

**The original recipe was cooked in an Oven Bag and this is still a good way to cook it. Put all the ingredients in an oven bag and secure with a twist tie. Place oven bag in a baking dish. Pierce top of the bag with a fork -bake as above.


This recipe appeared several times in Mum’s collection, a couple of times in newspaper columns and in a little cookbook called ‘Simple Minced Steak Recipes’ that her bowls club put out as a fundraiser. I’ve cooked it lots of times as the family always liked it. If you add Cauliflower Cheese and a throw a jacket potato in the oven you’ve got an easy meal.

Porcupine Meatballs4


  • 500g minced steak
  • ½ cup uncooked rice
  • 1 small onion (grated or finely chopped)
  • 415g can tomato soup
  • ¼ cup water
  • Pepper

Mix meat, rice, onion and seasonings. Shape into small balls and place in casserole dish. Mix tomato soup and water and pour over meatballs. Cook in a moderate oven 180°C for 1 hour. Do not overcook.


I think this recipe must have been a forerunner of the now traditional pub style Parmas. It tastes surprisingly good and works well with chicken too. You can use pre crumbed meat to make it easier, but freshly crumbed is probably nicer.

Steak Parma cropped



  • Veal or steak pieces (thinly sliced)
  • Plain flour, Egg, Breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese *See note below
  • Tomato soup
  • Mozzarella cheese – sliced
  • Oil

Coat the meat pieces in egg and the breadcrumb mix, then fry lightly in oil. Place in an ovenproof dish, top with the tomato soup and sliced Mozzarella cheese. Cook in a moderate 180°C for ½ hour.

*How to coat meat in breadcrumbs: Season plain flour with salt & pepper. Beat the egg with a little milk in a shallow bowl. Mix the breadcrumbs with parmesan cheese. Coat the meat lightly with plain flour, then dip the floured meat into the egg mixture. Roll the meat in the breadcrumb mix.


I doubt that this is even close to being a genuine Mexican recipe, but it does show the influence that “foreign” food started to have on Mum’s recipe collection. It was another Sunday night tea – easy to make, filling and tasty. I love that it was written on a brown paper bag!!

Rice Mexicana cropped



  • ¾ cup rice (uncooked)
  • 1 tablespoon dripping
  • 1 dessertspoon lemon juice
  • 1 rounded teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ cup tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups stock or water
  • 1 small onion
  • 250g minced steak

Wash rice and fry in dripping with chopped onion till a light brown then add salt, curry powder, lemon juice, tomato puree, minced steak and water or stock. Stir till boiling then simmer for ½ hour or until rice is cooked. Lift lid of saucepan 5 mins before serving to dry out rice. Serve with grilled cheese on top.


Mum’s been bringing these Cheese Meatballs to our house for all sorts of events for years. They are especially loved by my daughter, who on Mother’s Day this year made this batch for us. They were great, just like her Nana’s.

Cheese Meatballs1



  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • Pepper and salt
  • Cubed tasty cheese
  • Oil


  • 1 x 400g can tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To make the meatballs: Place the mince, breadcrumbs, egg, pepper and salt into a bowl and mix to combine. Press ¼ cup of the mixture into a patty. Place a cube of cheese into the middle of each patty and fold over the mince to enclose. Heat a little oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the meatballs for 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Place the meatballs in a baking dish. Pour sauce over and bake at 180ºC for 30 minutes.

To make the sauce: Blend tomatoes, add other ingredients.

Serves 4 – but can easily be doubled or tripled if you have a big crowd to feed.


This is actually one of my recipes from the early days of my dinner party hosting. Since I starting this blog I find myself remembering and cooking not only Mum’s old recipes but my own as well. I served this a couple of weekends ago at lunch for a group of friends. It originally came from the Anne Marshall New Idea Cookbook published in 1976. It’s great warm or cold.French Pear Tart


185g Rich Short Crust Pastry (see below)

  • Filling:
  • 3 ripe dessert pears
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons castor sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 250ml (1 cup) sour cream
  • Topping:
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 60g (2 tablespoons) butter

Make pastry and chill according to directions. Roll pastry out and line a 20-23 cm (8-9 inch) flan tin or glazed ovenproof flan dish. Trim and decorate edge and prick base. Chill while preparing filling.

Filling: Peel pears, cut in half lengthways and remove core. Place pears neatly in pastry tart shell, narrow tops towards centre. Beat egg, stir in sugar, salt, spices, lemon rind and sour cream. Pour neatly over pears.

Topping: Mix flour with brown sugar and nutmeg and rub in the butter to make coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over top of tart.

Bake in centre of a hot oven at 200ºC (400ºF) for 25 minutes or until filling is set. Cool on a wire cooling tray. Serve French Pear Tart cold or warm as a dessert or with coffee. It’s delicious. Serves 6.


  • 185g (1½ cups) plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 125 (4 tablespoons) butter
  • 30g (2 tablespoons) castor sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1-2 tablespoons cold water

Sift flour and salt into a cold mixing bowl. Cut butter into flour with a round bladed knife, then mix in with cool fingertips until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in castor sugar with knife.

Mix egg yolk with cold water and mix into flour gradually with a round bladed knife until mixture forms a dough which leaves sides of bowl cleanly. Knead very gently until smooth. Wrap in greaseproof paper and chill for at least 30 minutes before use. Roll out and use according to particular recipe.


Don’t know where Mum got this recipe from, but I’m guessing she tasted it somewhere and was told the recipe by the cook. She either wrote it down then or when she got home. I’ve added a few instructions, but it’s typical of the hand written recipes from Mum’s collection, just the ingredients and she would work the rest out for herself. They taste great.

Chocolate Noodles


  • 1 packet plain fried noodles (Changs)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 200g chocolate

Melt the chocolate and peanut butter together, stir in noodles. Place spoonfuls on tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate until set.